Royal St. George's College

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Royal St. George's College
Royal St. George's College (shield).jpg
Toronto, Ontario
Coordinates 43°40′08″N 79°24′38″W / 43.6689°N 79.4106°W / 43.6689; -79.4106Coordinates: 43°40′08″N 79°24′38″W / 43.6689°N 79.4106°W / 43.6689; -79.4106
Motto Scientia Pietate
Religious affiliation(s) Anglican Church of Canada
Established 1961
Opened 1964
Headmaster Stephen Beatty
Enrollment approximately 426
Colour(s) Blue, Red, Gold and White                 
Team name Knights

Royal St. George's College is an independent school for boys located in The Annex neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The school admits boys from Grades 3 through 12. Founded in 1961[1] as an Anglican choir school in the tradition of the great collegiate and cathedral choir schools in the United Kingdom, Royal St. George's admitted its first students in 1964. It is the only pre-university school in Canada authorized to use the "Royal"[2] designation, and houses the historic Chapel of St. Alban-the-Martyr.

In July, 2011, Mr. Stephen Beatty '86 succeeded as the College's seventh headmaster.[3]


St. George's began as the vision of a group of Anglican clergy and laity in the 1950s interested in establishing a permanent home for the rich tradition of choral music for boys' voices in Canada. Led by Dr. Healey Willan CC, who served as first Warden of the College, the founders looked to the model of the diocesan Summer choir camp run by the late Mr. John L. Bradley- third Warden- and Mr. John Cook for inspiration. In 1961 the Ontario Legislature passed a private member's bill, sponsored by the Hon. Alfred H. Cowling MPP, incorporating the school as St. George's College. At the time, the founders were in negotiations with the Church of St. George's-on-the-Hill[4] to utilize their facilities for the school. While the location changed, the name stuck and at the invitation of Bishop Frederick H. Wilkinson of Toronto the parish of St. Alban the Martyr and the resident St. Andrew's Japanese Congregation began joint use of the Howland Avenue property with the school.

Dr. John 'Jack' Lennox Wright, the founding headmaster, welcomed the first classes of students in 1964. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Howard Clark CC, formally dedicated the school. Other founders immediately joined the teaching faculty including, the Rev. Kenneth Scott, Mr. John 'Bear' Allen, and others.

Mr. Allen succeeded as second headmaster in 1978. He expanded the school's outlook inclusivity and facilities while remaining faithful to the founding vision.

In 1988 Mr. John R. Latimer assumed leadership of the school, and led the celebrations marking the Silver Jubilee of the College in 1989. These events culminated in a visit to the school by HRH the Duchess of Kent who proclaimed the 'Royal' designation on behalf of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Following Mr. Latimer's departure in 1996, Mr. Hal Hannaford became headmaster and the school continued to enlarge and improve its historic facilities as well as welcome an ever-diversifying student population, while maintaining an internationally renowned choir & instrumental music programme and a vibrant Anglican chaplaincy.

Mr. Hannaford's removal to Montreal made way for Mr. Steve Griffin to succeed to the mastership of the College. In February, 2010 Mr. Griffin resigned and Mr. Paul O'Leary was appointed interim headmaster. Mr. Stephen Beatty assumed the headmastership in July 2011.

The College's motto, Scientia Pietate, suggested by founder Professor J. B. E. Garstang- son and partner of renowned archaeologist Professor John Garstang- translates approximately 'Through Knowledge & Duty' and complements the school code 'Respect, Responsibility, and Voice' and the famous words of William of Wykeham 'Manners Maketh Men', appropriated by Dr. Wright as a personal credo.

School Life[edit]

Students are divided between Junior (Grades III-VIII) & Senior Schools (Grades IX-XII) during their careers and complete the Provincial requirements for Secondary School graduation, as well as enjoying elective enrollment in Advanced Placement programmes.

Traditionally, the College has been strong in Music, Liberal Arts, and Drama, though these programmes are complemented by rigorous scientific education in modern laboratory facilities and equally strong Math and Computer Science course offerings. Languages, including French, Spanish and Latin are offered. Visual Arts are taught in both Junior & Senior settings. Students attend live theatre, participate in urban community service opportunities, and travel internationally representing their school as musicians, athletes, public speakers and socially conscious global citizens.

Despite a small and urban campus, Athletics at the College have always played a vital part in student life. Teams include Rugby, Hockey, Ball-Hockey, Soccer, Softball, Skiing, Volleyball, Cross-Country, Golf, Basketball, Bicycling as well as Racquets. Judo is also popular. A fitness centre allows the boys to take increased responsibility for their own physical health. Students swim at the nearby St. Alban's Boys' and Girls' Club.[5]

A typical day for a student involves either Assembly, held in Ketchum Hall, or Chapel, regular academic classes, music- instrumental, or choral, outdoor play and organized games and some other extra-curricular activity.

A variety of clubs exist including Student Council, the Environment Club, the String Ensemble, the Newspaper of the College, known as The Grifter, the Speaking Union, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Jazz Band, the Servers' Guild, various intramural sports leagues, Tech Crew and various yearly dramatic productions.

Every Thursday the entire school meets together in the Chapel for Choral Evensong, sung by the choir and led by the Chaplain, a licensed minister of the Anglican Church of Canada. There are several community Eucharists celebrated as well, according to the liturgical calendar. For spiritual and social resources, in addition to the Chaplain, the College engages a social worker to help address the needs of all community members. Because St. George's is of an Anglican foundation it welcomes students of all backgrounds, without proselytization, and requires the respectful participation of all boys in the nurturing of the spiritual life.[6]

Student leadership is expressed most potently in the Student Council, the Junior School Captains, the Stewards, and the lead boys in the graduating class, the Prefects, under the Head Prefect.

Students compete with each other on four teams, or houses, named for the four great cathedrals of England which collectively supply the school colours. These Houses are Canterbury (red), Westminster (white), Winchester (gold), and York (blue).


The Chapel of St. Alban-the-Martyr from the South,the unfinished cathedral

Archbishop Arthur Sweatman[7] of Toronto envisioned the Cathedral of St. Alban-the-Martyr replacing the de facto use of St. James' Church, whose parishioners were unwilling to compromise with their bishop over the use of their church as diocesan seat. St. Alban's was designated the cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto in 1883 by an act of the Ontario Legislature, while still in the planning stages. The chancel & crypt of the projected building were completed, according to the plans of Richard Cunningham Windeyer,[8] in 1891, but subsequent construction stalled and was only partially continued by Ralph Adams Cram and Vaux Chadwick in the first decades of the twentieth century.[9] The patronage of Sir Henry Mill Pellatt of Casa Loma and Edward Marion Chadwick[10] was essential to the project. The chancel became the school chapel when the College leased the St. Alban's property, at the suggestion of Bishop Fredreick Wilkinson.

The completed chancel features the only double hammerbeam roof in Canada[citation needed] as well as some of the best heraldic stained glass in the country.

A second phase of building was begun in 1912 with the laying of a foundation stone by HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and his daughter, HRH Princess Patricia. The ground they broke would eventually become the foundation for the Senior School, known as Founders' Hall.

In addition to the Chapel, a See House, or bishop's residence was built in 1885 by architects Frank Darling and S. George Curry, which now serves as the College's administrative hub. Also, a school building was erected about 1897 by the Wells-DePencier family of Davenport to house the short-lived St. Alban's Cathedral School. This building now houses classrooms and the school's assembly hall, named for founder and second Warden P. A. C. Ketchum. St. Alban's School was directed by Marmaduke Matthews,[11] the founder of the Wychwood Park estate in Toronto, as well as the Ontario College of Art & Design.


Graduates of the school, Old Georgians, can continue a lifelong involvement with RSGC through the Alumni Association[12] which meets monthly to plan support events for the school and to foster goodwill among graduates. Some Old Georgians have joined the Board of Governors of the school, while others teach, offer professional mentorships, or make financial contributions. Old Georgians are welcomed back to the school at several annual events, including the Alumni Dinner, the Carol Service, and the Ball-Hockey Tournament.

Notable Old Georgians include:

  • Noah '40' Shebib, Record Producer
  • James Hall ('99) head chef, WVRST Restaurant
  • Damian Abraham ('99) lead singer, Fucked Up, Host of The Wedge
  • Dr. Jonathan Baillie ('90) zoologist[13]
  • Brent Barclay ('87) TV producer
  • Matt Beam ('89) writer
  • Dr. Rob Beanlands ('77) cardiologist & academic[14]
  • Stephen Beatty ('86) Headmaster, Royal St. George's College, Toronto[15]
  • Douglas Bell ('78) journalist
  • Sean Black ('93) Olympic Boxer & model[16]
  • Alexy Boggian ('74) Swiss politician and environmentalist[17]
  • Jim Brebner ('83) film director
  • James Carl ('79) sculptor[18]
  • Dr. Cam Clokie ('81) surgeon & academic[19]
  • Terry Collins ('73) science publicist
  • Thomas D'Arcy ('98) Alternative musician
  • Alex Dobson ('93) Opera singer[20]
  • Jonah Falco ('01) drummer, Fucked Up[21]
  • Andrew Ferns ('93) producer and director[22]
  • Robert Gleadow ('03) Opera singer[23]
  • Ed Hanley ('89) Fusion musician, tabla player for Autorickshaw[24]
  • Professor Campbell Harvey ('77) academic[25]
  • Dr. Patrick Baillie ('81) Forensic psychologist / Lawyer[26]
  • Neil Hetherington ('91) CEO, Habitat For Humanity Toronto
  • David Hewlett ('87) actor
  • Michael Lambert ('04) Olympic Snowboarder
  • Eli Langer ('86) visual artist
  • Jeffrey Latimer ('83) theatrical producer
  • Michael Latner ('74) developer & philanthropist[27]
  • Michael Le Gresley ('79) industrialist & engineer[28]
  • Marc McAree ('83) environmental law specialist[29]
  • John Millen ('79) Olympic Bronze Medallist for Sailing[30]
  • Graeme Morphy ('83) TV production designer
  • Vincenzo Natali ('87) director & screenwriter
  • Andrew Nikiforuk ('76) journalist
  • John Northcott ('80) journalist[31]
  • John Ortved ('99) writer[32]
  • Bruce Patterson ('86) Deputy Chief Herald of Canada[33]
  • Christian Pavey ('94) handyman/television personality[34]
  • Andrew Podnieks ('80) Hockey historian
  • the Right Reverend Phillip Poole ('70) suffragan bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto & President of the International Compass Rose Society[35]
  • Tim Pyper ('99) Organist & composer[36]
  • Gabe Radford ('93) Classical musician[37]
  • George Rutherford ('71) Head of School, Holy Trinity School (Richmond Hill)[38]
  • Reza Satchu ('87) financier[39]
  • Mark Schatzker ('92) author & journalist[40]
  • Dr. Kevin Thomson ('93) environmental scientist[41]
  • the Honourable Peter Thomson ('85) race car driver
  • Mark Wilkins ('02) race car driver[42]
  • the Reverend Timothy Jones ('72), grief counsellor, author, educator[43]

Notable former faculty[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Royal St. George's College History". Whole Note. 2007. 
  2. ^ "Royal prefix". 
  3. ^ "SMR". Archived from the original on 2010-06-21. 
  4. ^ "SGH". 
  5. ^ "SABG". 
  6. ^ "G&M". Archived from the original on 2008-09-26. 
  7. ^ "DCB Sweatman". 
  8. ^ "RCA". Archived from the original on 2010-08-23. 
  9. ^ "RLT". Archived from the original on March 4, 2008. 
  10. ^ "DCB Chadwick". 
  11. ^ "LRT". 
  12. ^ "Tweet". 
  13. ^ "Edge". 
  14. ^ "UO". 
  15. ^ "Montcrest". 
  16. ^ "SR". 
  17. ^ "TL". Ticino, Switzerland. 
  18. ^ "JCCA". 
  19. ^ "UTD". 
  20. ^ "AD". Archived from the original on 2010-01-16. 
  21. ^ Rayner, Ben (December 13, 2007). "Star". The Star. Toronto. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  22. ^ "FP". 
  23. ^ "IMG". 
  24. ^ "EH". 
  25. ^ "Duke". 
  26. ^ "PB". 
  27. ^ "ML" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-16. 
  28. ^ "G&MO". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 
  29. ^ "WS". 
  30. ^ "JMB". Archived from the original on 2009-07-08. 
  31. ^ "cbcjn". Archived from the original on April 29, 2007. 
  32. ^ "MacB". 
  33. ^ "COAF". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. 
  34. ^ "hgtv". 
  35. ^ "CR". 
  36. ^ "TP". 
  37. ^ "FM". Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. 
  38. ^ "HTS" (PDF). 
  39. ^ Pearce, Tralee (March 5, 2005). "GMRS". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 
  40. ^ "UT". 
  41. ^ "NRC". 
  42. ^ "Grand-Am". 
  43. ^ "Rev.Timothy Jones". 
  44. ^ "UTM1". Archived from the original on 2010-11-28.